Monday, July 4, 2016

Skunk's Misery Butterfly Count 2016

Sunday, I joined in on the annual Skunk's Misery butterfly count.  Weather was virtually perfect and many enthusiasts participated.  The morning was spent in the "Mosa Forest" area where there is much Crown Land and heavy forest.  It is always interesting to do that portion as one can listen or look for birds as well!

Butterflies were certainly low in numbers compared to any previous year that I have done.  However, at the end of the day, species count was quite remarkable.  A total of 55 species was recorded as far as I know.

Gray Comma

In the morning, I always pick the west end of Centreville Road and work east until we meet the group doing the east end.

Normally the roadway is littered with anglewings and emperors, but not this year.  We only found a few Tawny Emperors and a couple of Hackberry Emperors.

Speaking of anglewings, it was along this road we found a Green Comma a few years ago--a first record for the area.
Dragonflies can be watched for as well.  A number of years ago I found a Great Blue Skimmer along this road.  This year has been terrible for dragonflies so far.

We spotted a few Banded and Hickory Hairstreaks, as well as one Striped.

Hickory Hairstreak

At one point I spotted a fat snake basking in the sun at the side of the road.  It appeared to be a dark Eastern Hognose!  It has been many years since I have seen a Hognose.

Along the way I checked off many birds.  Veery, Ovenbird and Hooded Warblers are very plentiful in the Mosa Forest.

After lunch my party headed to the NW section of the circle starting at the Lambton-Middlesex County Line.  First stop is along Watterworth Road near the end of Mosside. For whatever reason I always like this spot since there is always Hooded Warbler and Acadian Flycatcher singing in the Crown Land.
A couple of years ago we had a couple of Mocha Emeralds flying around at this location.

A must-stop is farther west along Mosside where the road crosses the Sydenham.  There are a couple of open areas where the old bridge used to cross that contain lots of Common Milkweed.  There is also an extensive "forest" of Red Cedar here that is rather unique.

We added quite a few butterflies here, but not as many as previous years.

Another stop was at the old bridge on Cameron Road.  You get a nice view of the Sydenham here.

There are lots of Hackberry trees here and we had both Tawny and Hackberry Emperors.

Tawny Emperor on the bridge!
Our last stop of the day was a favourite location beside the railway near Bothwell.  We added quite a few things here.

The end-of-the-day BBQ was once again held south of Rodney at the Prieksaitis home.


  1. It looks like it was a pretty productive count! Nice find with the Hog-nosed Snake!

    1. Yes, the hog-nosed was a real treat. We do not see them as often as we used to around here.

  2. Replies
    1. I heard about it. Would be neat to see though!

  3. Sounds like you had a good day! I wanted to go, but other things cropped up. Maybe next year!